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Obituary: Anna S. Heinzerling

Anna S. Heinzerling

Anna S. “Lela” (Westergaard) Heinzerling, 89, passed peacefully at home on June 10, 2011. Anna, a longtime resident of Port Washington, leaves behind her husband, Ralph (also of Port Washington), sister, Thora Frank (Chevy Chase, MD), children, Laura Berzofsky (Westfield, NJ), Steve Heinzerling (Brooklyn), Nina Pepek (West Springfield, MA), grandchildren, Jessica Hellman, Sabrina Hellman Gewertzman, Scott Berzofsky, Caroline Pepek, great-grandchild, Clyde Gewertzman and dear friends, Kari Lynch (Ridge, NY) and Faith LeSauvage (Port Washington). She is predeceased by her parents, Johannes and Astrid (Stang) Westergaard (Port Washington) and by her brother, John Westergaard (New York, NY).

Born on Sept. 21, 1921, Anna emigrated from Norway in 1923 and began living in Port Washington in the early 1930s. She attended Port Washington public schools before graduating from Smith College in 1944. Early in life, Anna cultivated her lasting love of learning. With a master’s in education from Adelphi University, she worked as an elementary school teacher for many years. Later in life she became an ESOL teacher for the public library, a position where her love of good conversation stood out. Eager to engage in discussion, Anna always showed an interest in every point of view: her all-embracing love and kindness will be missed.

In 1949 she married Ralph Heinzerling and they began building a family in Port Washington. As a homemaker, Anna influenced local youth as a Scout Troop leader and was also active in the local Bridge Club. Anna was a member of the First Church of Christ Scientist in Port Washington, where her belief and optimism shone.

Throughout her life Anna was an enthusiastic attendee of all Port Washington High School reunions and, as a member of the New York area Smith College Alumnae Association, all of her Smith College Reunions. She loved these get-togethers and staying in touch with friends and classmates.

A memorial will take place on Saturday, June 18 at noon at the New York Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, 2 Beacon Hill Rd., Port Washington. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Anna’s memory can be made to Smith College, 33 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01063.